It's utterly ridiculous that a high school basketball team is being drug into this whole political mess in Arizona. These are high-school girls who have worked long and hard to get to tournament position and to earn money for their trip to Arizona. To cancel that to make a political point is just plain cruel.
They're high school girls. Don't take this out on them. Let 'em play.
The point guard who grew up to be Vice-Presidential candidate feels very strongly about this issue:
This has-been ball player/Wasilla Warrior would like to send a shout out of support to the Highland Park High School Giants Girls Basketball Team in Illinois. These girls have been working, having bake sales, and saving money for months in order play in a hoop tournament in Arizona. They’ve won their school’s first conference title in 26 years, but now because a school bureaucrat – an assistant superintendent – wants to play politics, they’re not allowed to play ball.
Keeping girls off the court for political reasons? As I said last night in Illinois: “Them’s fightin’ words.”
The assistant superintendent claims that a trip to Arizona “would not be aligned with our beliefs and values.” But apparently the school has no problem sending kids on trips to China, which has a population control policy that is anti-girl in practice – contributing to female infanticide and abandonment and sex-selective abortions. So, is China – with its many serious human rights violations (too many to list here) – “aligned” with the “values and beliefs” of the school? But our sister-state of Arizona is not? Really? This is ridiculous and totally unfair to the girls who just want to play ball. Going to Arizona to play in a tournament will not endanger them, and the ban sure doesn’t solve the problem of unsecured borders.
These boycotts of Arizona will not help the state or lead to positive change. Economic and political boycotts of our nation’s 48th state will hurt all Arizonans – including all members of the Hispanic community. If people really want to help, they should tell President Obama to do his job: secure the border. If he were to do his job, the good people of Arizona, who have been overwhelmed by violence on their border, would not feel compelled to do it for him.
In the meantime, let’s help the girls “go rogue” and go play ball. Please take a look at this Facebook page set up on their behalf.
Let’s have our own bake sale! Let the girls play ball!
- Sarah Palin
And it hasn't stopped there. Amy Jacobson is working with the Governor to try and figure something out:
Former high school basketball player Sarah Palin is planning to make a bank shot.
• Translation: Sneed has learned Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee, who is outraged the Highland Park girls basketball team trip to Arizona has been canceled "for political reasons," wants to raise money and/or find a way to get them there.
• The upshot: Palin has asked WIND radio talk show host Amy Jacobson, a fellow high school basketball player who shares Palin's anger over the trip's cancellation because of Arizona's immigration policy, to help her do it.
• The backshot: "We've been e-mailing back and forth since we met Wednesday night," said Jacobson, who helped host "An Evening with Sarah Palin," sponsored by WIND radio at the Rosemont Theatre.
In an e-mail dispatched to Jacobson Thursday morning, Palin stated: "I'm going to Arizona on Saturday ... and Amy, let's think of something we can do to show the girls we are willing to help. I can raise money for them. You can speak for me on this. It was great meeting you last night. We are on the same page."
• The money shot: It's unclear whether raising money would overcome the decision made by the school superintendent's office. The team had already raised money through bake sales, and assistant school Supt. Sue Hebson has yet to return our phone call. Meanwhile, school Supt. George Fornero, who had been silent on the matter, issued a letter Thursday after Palin made her comments -- he claims Arizona's immigration law could place "some of our students' safety or liberty" at risk because of the school's diverse student population. The trip was scheduled for December, and the makeup of its varsity team has yet to be selected for the next school year.
• Translation: Undocumented students may be participating.
• Faceshot: Meanwhile, Jacobson tells Sneed: "We've already set up a Facebook page link to bigjohnandamy.com for students and parents to state their views and/or outrage about the school decision."
• Netshot: "Sarah [Palin] and I bonded in the Green Room over basketball," said Jacobson, who feels cancellation of the basketball trip is "a horrific, monstrous joke using children for political pawns. It should be a parental decision, not a school decision."
"She [Palin] played point guard in high school, and I played small forward at John Hershey High School in Arlington Heights, and we talked about how everything you need to learn about life ... you learn on the basketball court."
"We talked about how you learned self-governing, teamwork, winning, boundaries and when to step in to help a fellow player. This sad decision is a big deal, and she wants to step in and team up to support these girls."
• The endshot: "Palin, who appeared before 4,000 Chicago area fans at the Rosemont Theatre, told the crowd: "Them are fightin' words when you say a girl can't play in the basketball tournament ... for political reasons ... so we are going to see about that."
• The potshot: In the e-mail to Jacobson, Palin also stated: "I highlighted the issue in my Chicago speech last night because I can't believe this district would think this is any kind of a solution. One of the most ridiculous school decisions I've ever heard. This district will okay student travel to China, but not Arizona because Arizona doesn't mesh with their 'values and beliefs.' But China does?! China's treatment of girls is atrocious in some areas."
• The finalshot: Jacobson, who vented her personal outrage on Fox News Channel on Thursday, tells Sneed she had to chuckle when she learned Palin was heading to Arizona on Saturday. "I thought it was perfect timing and apropos," said Jacobson. "After all, if we haven't already been to Arizona before, we should go now, spend money and help their economy."
Here's the Facebook page you can support the girls on.
UPDATE - I like this guy:
Yeah, just don't throw rocks, girls, okay? :)